Control of hydatidosis
Echinococcosis can be controlled through preventive measures that break the cycle between the definitive and the intermediate host. These measures include dosing dogs, inspecting meat and educating the public on the risk to humans and on avoiding feeding offal to dogs, as well as introducing legislation. None of these measures will work in isolation, however.
The disease can be controlled successfully through health education and appropriate legislation only when people understand the life cycle of the parasite. It is of the utmost importance that the government be involved, through the Ministries of Health, Agricultural and the Interior, for example. So far, the only successful control programmes have been those where the Ministry of Agriculture has been the responsible control authority (Gemmell, 1979).
Recently, a recombinant vaccine has been developed. When fully tested, it will become a valuable tool in the vaccination of sheep (M. Lightowlers, personal communication), breaking the life cycle of echinococci. With an efficient vaccine the attack phase, as described later, can be shortened considerably.
The following are phases of a control programme that have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1994).